We've all seen TV shows and movies where panic erupts as soon as a pregnant woman gets her first contraction.
In real life, labour tends to be more drawn out.
It's not usually necessary to contact your healthcare provider or go to the hospital right away.
Here are some guidelines for when you should call your doctor or midwife once you suspect that labour has started:
- When your contractions are regular and painful, last 30 to 60 seconds, and occur at five minute intervals.
- If your water breaks (see Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes information on HealthLink BC).
- If you have vaginal bleeding or show (pink tinged vaginal mucus).
- If you are unsure and have concerns.
- If your healthcare provider has advised you to call early for some reason.
- If your baby seems to have stopped moving or moves less than usual.
If you're unsure if you are in true labour and can’t reach your healthcare provider by phone, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1. A registered nurse can give you helpful information and advice when you need it most.
Resources & Links:
HealthLink BC: Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes information